Whether it's your religion, politics, the environment, classical music, vampire books, a sugar free diet, the right to life, or five inch heels; if you believe in it, stand up for it. But you don't have to be obnoxious about it.
I'm a news junkie and I'm getting awfully tired of the comment sections that follow most online news articles posted by newspapers, magazines, television channels, and other news organizations. Of course, I could stop reading them, but that's easier said than done for me. Most mainstream news outlets caution against offensive language, but a lot of it seems to get by anyway. I suppose that because rude people are pretty anonymous on most comment boards they feel safe saying any repulsive thing they wish and instead of admitting to being cowards, they applaud themselves for their supposedly clever remarks. I've noticed too that it doesn't matter what the article is about, a certain number of people are soon off topic and throwing insults at their favorite targets.
This political season has been much too long and supporters of both national and local candidates have become particularly nasty in their denunciations of opponents. This isn't necessarily new; as long as political parties have been around they've been trading insults, but because of the enlarged share of time and attention given to electronic gadgets today, it's really in our faces this time around. It's expected that a candidate's failures and flaws are exposed to public scrutiny, but I'd like to see greater emphasis on the candidate's plans for the future and what he/she would do differently. I can laugh at the gentle pokes that are humorous jabs at each other during a campaign, but I don't appreciate mean spirited ridicule.
I find party platforms a silly waste of time. I want to know what an individual candidate stands for, not the positions hammered out by party committees. I consider myself a moderate, but by no means a sit-on-the-fence mediocre wait-to-see-which-way-the-wind-blows sort of person. I have strong opinions about most issues. I'm adamantly opposed to abortion except when the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest, or the mother's life is at stake and I see no conditions under which partial birth abortions should be legal. I think it is morally wrong to send young people who were brought to America illegally, but who have stayed here, graduated from our high schools, speak English, and have become culturally American back to some country that is foreign to them. Some people consider me too conservative, some say I'm too liberal, but I believe in choosing for myself where I stand. I don't back any blanket set of dogma called a platform even when I agree with most of the stated points on a platform.
Many people call themselves moderates or independents when what they really mean is they don't care enough to get involved or they fear someone might think less of them for having a different viewpoint. And some are just lazy. I don't think this life was meant to be lived by merely drifting along. We're supposed to care, to fight for what we believe is right, to choose sides, have opinions, and support causes and candidates that uphold our values. We should stand for something, but let's find a way to do that without being so disagreeable, rude, and mean.